2019 is the year of Lizzo. I called it back in January when the Minneapolis rapper/singer/songwriter dropped the infectious ‘Juice’ which unquestionably became an early contender for single of the year. And now she’s giving you a strong contender for album of the year so prepare yourself. ‘Cuz I Love You’ is her third studio album and her first major label release which is an exciting moment in itself for her career. And this record lives up to all the hype as she’s put together a memorable collection of sass, emotion and empowerment which is everything you wanted and more. Opening with the soulful title track ‘Cuz I Love You’, she gets a little nostalgic with the big band inspired track that offers sassy verses and soulful hooks. The production cites influences from early big band doo-woop tracks with her personality really shining through. Her vocals are so dominant and I love how they become the centre-piece of the song and this album. The female empowerment track ‘Like A Girl’ will have you bopping along instantly and wanting to hit a dance floor with it’s nostalgic 90’s and euphoric production. Leading straight into the attitude filled ‘Soulmate’ she immediately gives you one of the best quotes of the whole album that will be quoted all over social media in no time. “The old me used to love a Gemini. Like a threesome fucking with him every night”. And she doesn’t hold back with many more of these moments. But when you strip away all the sass and glamour, she also has some vulnerable and heartfelt moments that will stick in your mind. The cry for understanding on the gospel-pop-rnb inspired ‘Heaven Help Me’ is one you didn’t expect from her but will have you absolutely fallen in love with her. “If love ain’t dead I’mma kill it cause it’s killing me”. But she gets mellow on the doo-woop ‘Jerome’ and the slow R&B jam ‘Lingerie’.
The album’s weakest moment comes from the Missy Elliot collaboration ‘Tempo’ which had the potential to be an epic moment but sadly the execution let this one down. I expected the Gucci Mane collaboration ‘Exactly How I feel’ to follow the same trend but I was completely wrong with it’s playful Bruno Mars-esq production. She even dives into Janelle Monae’s world on ‘Crybaby’ which is pure funk and psychedelic greatness.
The whole record is a playful, honest and memorable affair of genres and emotions. It’s a strong album that will see her live show becoming even more memorable and fun. So prepare yourselves because theres a new queen at church now and her name is Lizzo.